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Perhaps Jimmy McMillan said it best: The rent is too damn high. A recent Commercial Observer article details the slew of store closings in the West Village and Greenwich Village due to landlords increasing rents on new leases. This includes several restaurants and food establishments, like Gray's Papaya and Food Emporium, as well as retail establishments like Pet Central and the old Barnes & Noble.
"Most were old leases that have turned," Eastern Consolidated broker Adelaide Polsinelli said of the recent price increases. "There is a big disconnect between last rent and the current ask." The Gray's Papaya's owner, Nicholas Gray, said his monthly rent was increasing to $50,000, from $30,000, with the new lease.
"I think the smaller guys are kind of priced out of the market," said real estate salesperson Cara Rosenbloom. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail executive VP Jeffrey D. Roseman agrees: "I know some are vacant because the landlords are asking for too much rent."
Many pointed to Marc Jacob's foray onto Bleecker Street in recent years for bringing higher-end brands to the neighborhoods (he's now got six stores on that street). And since they're willing to pay higher rents, it's created a "halo effect" that's jacked up prices across the board.
Those that are willing to pay these increased rents include Kikkerland Designs
which replaced 16 Handles at 493 Avenue of the Americas, as well as accessories gallery Studio Manhattan and professional makeup creator Kryolan at 277 Bleecker Street.
Though locals haven't been thrilled about the changing landscape, once a mecca of "downtown bohemianism," an influx of tourist traffic has been good for local businesses and realtors alike. The changes are both "good and bad for the neighborhood," Roseman concluded.
· Series of High-Profile Retail Closures Points To Momentarily Stark Reality [CO]
· Design-y Brand Kikkerland Taps Mxyplyzyk Owner For First Store [Racked NY]
· Inside the New Marc Jacobs Beauty Store on Bleecker Street [Racked NY]